Time may be a better Valentine’s gift than hearts and roses
Cut Your Commute to spend more time with your loved ones
Regus, the global flexible workplace provider, is encouraging Zambia commuters to spend more time with their loved ones this Valentine’s Day to boost both personal and professional relationships.
Zambia traffic volumes continues to grow. There is a significant amount of money wasted everyday by people and businesses just sitting on the road, burning expensive fuel. More money is also
spent to maintain the quickly wearing vehicles as they are driven on trenchy unpaved roads, dust, potholes and jagged edges of pavement. On a macroeconomic scale, billions of kwacha are wasted every year because of inadequate roads. This is money individuals could save, start businesses and employ people thereby, boosting demand in those businesses.
So why not reduce time spent on commuting? With less time and money spent on commuting, it leaves more for romance – or the other important things in life – and it’s certainly a priority for office workers. In a Regus survey of business people, 96% of Zambia respondents said they would use shorter commuting time to spend more time with family.
Less time in the car also has environmental benefits too; the same poll found that 47% of people globally think a shorter drive to work is the easiest way for firms to reduce their carbon footprint.
And what better time to implement these initiatives than Valentine’s Day? The time saved could even help people find the perfect gift after research last year found that many people get it wrong when it came to Valentine’s Day. According to the survey, there was a marked discrepancy between the present people intended to give and the one their partner wanted to receive. Only 20% of people, for example, actually wanted flowers.
In fact, the best way to put a smile on loved ones’ faces may be to spend a little more time at home – not just on Valentine’s Day, but at other times too. Among the ill-effects linked to long hours at the office and lengthy commutes are stress, loneliness and exhaustion – hardly conducive to keeping the spark in a relationship. A study in Sweden even found that couples in which one partner commutes long distances to work are more likely to divorce.
Alexandre Duffar, Area Director East Africa for Regus commented: “People around the world wish they had more time and energy to devote to relationships and family. Meanwhile, employers want to boost workforce productivity. These two goals sound incompatible, but they’re not. There are simple measures to reconcile them – giving employees more flexibility over their schedules and offering them options for doing their job closer to home.
“Businesses that offer flexible work options tell us they see huge benefits. For example, 73% say it leads directly to greater productivity. If you let your workers enjoy some extra time at home this Valentine’s Day, it’s not just romance that could flourish.”
 Lusaka Times, Roadway infrastructure, minimum wages and production viability in Zambia, 3 October 2011
 Credit Donkey, “Survey: Valentine’s Day Statistics 2013”.
 Science Daily, “Long-distance commuters get divorced more often, Swedish study finds”, 25 May 2011.
Credit: Monique Thompson